Saturday, 26 August 2017

Part 2 of our trip to Botswana and South Africa

Apart from the the first two photos, which were taken en route to the Rhino Sanctuary, (see previous post), the remainder were taken around the Sanctuary itself, before we moved on to the next resort; I took a great many shots, so I have tried to select the better ones for these blogs! 

Just outside  Gaborone, the capital city, street vendors such as these ladies, are a common sight at the roadside. It’s also quite normal to see them in any busy location, either sitting in the sun or under an umbrella, waiting for their next customer! The people sell almost anything from drinks, snacks, fruit, vegetables and knick-knacks.  They all presumably make a living, but it must be a hard life!

Patrick, Christelle and Nigel enjoying a coffee at a small cafe in the city centre. Rich and imaginative African decorations bring life to the walls!

Next to a small waterhole, we saw these zebra and an eland (taurotragus oryx) in the foreground.   The world's largest antelope was once widespread across Africa but is now only found in protected areas, though still fairly common.  This eland looks as if it has a deformed horn but presumably that does not cause it any discomfort.


Impala (Aepyceros melampus) are very common; this is a youngster.   They both graze and browse, depending on what fodder is available; this ability to expand their feed variety helps them to be one of the most successful antelope species.


The white rhinoceros (ceratotherium simum) used to be common, but because of poaching, they are close to being endangered.  Botswana has very strict anti-poaching laws and the government is doing everything possible to look after its rhino population. Many rhino have migrated here from countries to the east, presumably because they perceive it is safer.


A springbok (antidorcas marsupialis) is one of the most  common antelopes.  Its name derives from the Afrikaans words "spring" (to jump) and "bok" (antelope).  A behavioural feature unique to the springbok is called "pronking", in which the springbok performs multiple leaps into the air with stiff legs. It looks so joyful!


A warthog (phacochoerus africanus). They are very common, and easily spotted in open areas of the bush.  I suspect this one is fairly young, as its tusks are not well developed. Warthogs have the peculiar habit of kneeling on the front knees while feeding.


Waterbuck  (kobus ellipsiprymnus) are also fairly common.  Their rump have a characteristic white ring, like a target! Only the bulls have long, forward curved horns, so these two will be  females.


Southern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) are a common sight.  They feed on seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions. They have a distinctive swooping flight and when on the ground, they hop around, looking for food.


 A Burchell's zebra foal. (equus quagga burchellii) The Burchell's zebra is the only zebra occuring in Botswana and it has been adopted as their national animal.


Brown-veined white butterfly (Belenois aurota).



Cape vulture also known as Cape griffon or Kolbe's vulture, (Gyps coprotheres)  posed characteristically in a look-out tree. They are listed as endangered, many having been illegally poisoned or shot by livestock breeders. The species usually breeds and roosts on cliff faces in or near mountains, from where it can fly long distances in search of the large animal carcasses, on which it specialises.



The crowned lapwing (vanellus coronatus) is common on open grassland.



A dung beetle, one of the 800 species in South Africa and Botswana! Unsurprisingly, I am not sure which one this is! There are four different kinds of dung beetle, named according to the way they use to move the dung. This one is known as a "roller" – it  rolls dung into these smooth, neat, round balls for use as food, or as a depository in which the females can lay their eggs. The beetles are extremely strong, capable of rolling a ball of dung 50 times their own weight!


An elegant grasshopper (zonocerus elegans).  The bright colours will let any predator know that it is poisonous.  Its toxins are ingested from the plants it eats. It probably would not be harmful to humans if eaten, but will cause problems to smaller creatures.

The european bee-eater (merops apiaster) is common.   As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially beeswasps, and hornets. They catch insects in flight, and generally nest in burrows which both males and females excavate in earth cliffs.

The gemsbok  (oryx gazella).  Their preferred habitat is dry open grasslands.  They are fairly common and their very striking facial features and back-sloping horns make them almost unmistakable!

A giraffe (giraffe camelopardalis). They are visible from a long way off, but being the tallest animal in the world must have pros and cons!

These herbivores browse for their food supply, and have the advantage of height which enables them access to food supply other herbivores cannot reach. 

Black-backed jackals (canis mesomelas)  are fairly common.
They are opportunistic feeders, capable of adapting to most habitats and most often seen singly, or in pairs, at dusk or dawn.

Also see my daily diary HERE



and My Life Before Charente (updated  25 September 2016) I will get back to this eventually! 

46 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Regine, it was a great trip. Diane

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  2. what amazing pictures and nice post Diane !
    I love giraffes :)

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    1. Thanks Gloria, I love all wild life and I cannot understand how anyone can go out and shoot them just for the fun of it. Hunters should be treated as murderers in my eyes! Take care Diane

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    2. I think exactly like you Diane. I suffer when someone kill one of these wonderful animals.

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  3. What a fascinating post. I really enjoyed reading about all the wildlife there. X

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    1. Thanks Maggie, a slight change from France but I could not leave it all out of my blog :-))) Take care Diane x

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  4. Hi Diane - wonderful to see all the animals in their natural setting - gorgeous photos ... Fantastic trip it must have been ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary, it was so good to return and see the animals in their natural habitat. I just hope the the endangered animals survive with constant anti poaching units around. Keep well and have a good week Diane

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    2. I see I did come by ... I had visitors at this point ... so not much time to comment. Amazing range of animals, birds and insects you're showing us ... and I've never been into Gaberone - but Botswana seems to be one of the thriving countries in southern Africa ... if not the only thriving one.

      The dung beetle is amazing ... love seeing them; while warthogs are my favourite and then the Burchell zebra - I wrote about them and how they were named, but hadn't realised they were Botswana's national animal.

      Oh to be in Africa ... and not in grey damp England on the south coast ... !! Cheers Hilary

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    3. Definitely now is the time to go to Africa while winter settles in the Northern hemisphere. Wish we could have a house in both places!!!! Cheers Diane

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  5. You never ease to amaze me with your photography. Wildlife is not easy but you have done a great job. The info about the animals was interesting . I read Part 1 too. It must have been fun to see all the old places where you lived and the changes that have taken place.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the info, we thought that maybe the post was a bit dull but it was difficult to liven it up. Think post of the RSA posts will similar!!! So many changes and not really for the better! Take care and have a great week t'other Diane

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  6. Love Botswana Diane.. brilliant series of wildlife shots. How fabulous the patchwork of colours on the European bee-eater!

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    1. Grace you would love it even more if you were there. Fabulous place and everyone is so friendly, just like what we used to experience in the old Rhodesian days. Have a happy day Diane

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  7. Beautiful shots! It must have been wonderful to be back out there, seeing all of these gorgeous creatures.

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    1. We did not realise just how much we missed the country there, and of course our amazing friends. Have a happy week Diane

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  8. Great photos of magnificent creatures. Botswana is top of my list of places to visit. Kim

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    1. Highly recommended, great wild life and lovely people. Have a good week Diane

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  9. WOW! Excellent photos Diane...like usual.

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    1. Thanks Pam for your kind comment, appreciated. Have a good day Diane

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  10. Great interesting post, Diane! You photos are gorgeous! It is amazing with the variety of animals you saw in the area. I can't imagine coming upon a rhino and all. The zebra is great, as is the giraffe, all of them. Very nice. Beautiful animals! Have a good week!

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    1. Pam there is so much more to come, we saw almost everything except any of the big cats and wild dog which was sad. We will have to return :-)))) Have a good week Diane

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  11. Great widlife pictures. You obviously had a good and interesting trip. Amitiés

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    1. Thanks Béatrice we had a great time. Now we need to plan a return trip :-) We still have to see the big cats and the wild dogs!! Take care Diane

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  12. Now that's what I call an interesting post, Diane, and the photography is wonderful! So many beautiful creatures (with the possible exception of a couple of those in the second image!). That sanctuary is so wildlife-rich - it's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

    Have a great weekend, and take good care of that back - - - Richard

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    1. Richard we just loved Botswana. They are really trying so hard to care for their wild life, the President of the country is a keen wild life follower which helps.
      Did you see this comment - A rhino poacher must have a poaching license, to poach legally- Says ... Minister of Tourism in South Africa Thokozile Xasa. Sad state of affairs. She goes on to say she does not have a problem with people making a little bit of extra cash on the side. Hard to believe anyone can think that way and time the government there thought more the way the Batswana people do.
      On a happier note have a good week Diane

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  13. Oh Diane,
    You know I feel very nostalgic of my life in SA, and your great photos revive fantastic memories!
    The Black-backed jackal is gorgeous and so is the hopper but all photos are very interesting!
    Warm hugs (it getting cooler!) and enjoy the new week

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    1. It was a very nostalgic visit for us. Not only the seeing the wild life but seeing and staying friends who I have not seen in 40 odd years.
      The hopper is quite exotic :-) There is just so much to see there from the smallest insect to the largest elephant.
      Yes it is definitely getting cooler, warm hugs Diane

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  14. Wow! I want to go to Africa so much! One day perhaps.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Stewart if you have never been then you must make a plan, I am sure you will never regret it.
      Take care Cheers Diane

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  15. Absolutely fascinating Diane, great photos!

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    1. Thanks Denise,glad that you are enjoying them. It was a fabulous trip. Cheers Diane

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  16. African safari is calling me. Oh to see endless impala, springboks and all the rest. Interesting how the colors of the zebra foal and brown-veined white butterfly mimic each other. You got some great photos.

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    1. Ha ha it is calling us again as well. Yes the butterfly and the zebra are very similar in colour and stripes. Just want to go beck there again for a longer period :-) Take care Diane

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  17. Bonjour Diane,
    Superbe vos rencontres au Botswana. Je suis admirative du Calao et des insectes que vous avez rencontrés , en particulier ce criquet si coloré. La nature est vraiment fantastique !

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    1. Lucie vous êtes correct, la nature est merveilleuse, mais aussi parfois très cruelle! Le Botswana est un beau pays. Bonne journée Diane

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  18. Absolutely love the wildlife photos. You have got some great ones and such a variety too!

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    1. Joyful it is so easy to get great photos in Botswana, there is so much around and we had plenty of time to sit, wait and look. Keep well Diane

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  19. Now, this is what I call a great treat! Even though I haven't been to S. Africa, I feel like I've seen some parts of it through your photos. My husband has been in some part of it and he said, it's always an exciting adventure out there.

    Have a great week.

    Rose

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    1. Thanks so much Rose for the kind comment, I am glad that you have enjoyed these posts and I hope that you get to enjoy the remainder as well. You have a great week as well Diane

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  20. So many animals and insects I have never seen before, Diane, and that grasshopper...those colours and patterns! I do not get to travel, but thanks to your photos and posts, I feel as though I do! Just from the chair in my living room. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Ha ha that grasshopper is named well, elegant in name and colour. Hope you enjoy the remainder of the trip, lots still to come, I took so many photos!!! Take care Diane

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  21. what a great adventure. Great pictures.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca, it was a fabulous holiday. Take care Diane

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